March-April 2017 | Tap Festivals

Jason Janas, Michelle Dorrance, and Kazunori Kumagai stomp out an impressive set at the Stockholm Tap Festival’s 2016 gala.
Photo by Iselin Jansen

Tap Festivals: Our 2017 guide to tap festivals in the U.S. and abroad

If you can’t hear a beat without tapping your feet, there are no better places to hone technique, learn about history, meet master teachers, and immerse yourself in rhythmic bliss this year than at these national and international tap festivals.

Festivals are listed alphabetically by state or country.

National Festivals

Little Rock Tap Festival
Location: Little Rock, AR
Dates: June 5–9
Fees/cost: $275 early bird; $300 after May 1
Registration deadline: Online registration closes May 31; registrations accepted at the door
Faculty includes: Festival founders Matt Boyce and Savannah Harrington Boyce, Anthony Morigerato, Nick Dinicolangelo, Aaron Tolson, Jason Nious, and Katelyn Harris
Description: Master classes at multiple levels and in a variety of styles such as rhythm tap, body percussion and stepping, Broadway, improv, Irish step, drumming, and music theory. Each night ends with a special event, such as a showcase, critique session, faculty Q&A, or improv battle.
Contact: 501-940-5595; littlerocktapfest@gmail.com; littlerocktapfest.com

DC Tap Festival
Location: Washington, DC
Dates: April 3–10
Fees/cost: $30–$350
Registration deadline: Open until filled
Faculty includes: Chloe and Maud Arnold, Bril Barrett, Derick K. Grant, Ted Louis Levy, Charles Renato, Jumaane Taylor, and Dianne Walker
Description: Classes for all ages and levels, All-Star Concert, weeklong choreography residencies, film class, sisterhood and brotherhood classes (emphasizing self-esteem, goal setting, and connecting with fellow dancers), tap jam party, competition, student showcase, and cutting contest.
Contact: 202-421-0235; dctapfest@gmail.com; dctapfest.com

Master tap stylist Daniel Borak will join an all-star faculty roster at this summer’s Rhythm World 27 in Chicago.
Photo by Andreas Gemperle

Rhythm World 27
Location: American Rhythm Center, Chicago, IL
Dates: July 16–23
Fees/cost: $55–$800
Registration deadline: May 25 early bird; open until filled
Faculty includes: Lane Alexander, Bril Barrett, Daniel Borak, Ayodele Casel, Starinah “Star” Dixon, Monternez Rezell, Linda Sohl-Ellison, Jumaane Taylor, and Cartier Williams
Description: Classes, workshops, intensive residencies, and special courses for children, teens, adults, teachers, pre-professionals, and professionals; jam sessions, student showcase and cutting contest, and formal presentations including Juba! Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance concert.
Contact: 312-542-2477; info@chicagotap.org; chicagotap.org

Circle City Tap Festival
Location: Whitestown, IN
Dates: October 6–8
Fees/cost: Varies; packages available
Registration deadline: Early bird discount rate TBA
Faculty includes: 2017 faculty TBA; past faculty has included Gregg Russell, Heather Cornell, Ryan Johnson, Denise Caston-Clark; Jenefer Miller, Kaelyn Gray, and Tristan Bruns
Description: Classes for all ages and levels include musical theater tap, body percussion, swing, Rockettes style, progressions, and rudiments. Performance opportunities include the audition-only Circle City Young Hoofers Club; performers for the October 7 faculty and guest show are selected through video audition submissions.
Contact: Lorenda Carr, 317-769-2223; circlecitytapfest@gmail.com; circlecitytapfest.weebly.com

Students from the U.S. and abroad celebrate syncopation during a Dance United rehearsal.
Photo by Ming Chen Lee

Dance United
Location: Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios, North Andover, MA
Dates: August 7–11
Fees/cost: $550
Registration deadline: April 30
Faculty includes: 2017 faculty TBA; past faculty has included Maud Arnold, Kurt Csolak, Derick K. Grant, Jason Janas, Anthony Morigerato, Sarah Reich, Jason Samuels Smith, and Aaron Tolson
Description: Training offered in multiple tap styles to American and international students.
Contact: 978-685-5533; wedanceunited@gmail.com; wedanceunited.com

Advanced students and faculty keep the beat during On Tap, the Beantown Tap Fest’s mainstage show.
Photo by Joni Lohr

Beantown Tapfest
Location: Deborah Mason School of Dance, Somerville, MA
Dates: July 31–August 6
Fees/cost: Varies
Registration deadline: None
Faculty includes: Brenda Bufalino, Sarah Reich, Dianne Walker, Josh Hilberman, Caleb Teicher, Khalid Hill, Sean Fielder, Ryan P. Casey, Ian Berg, and Thelma Goldberg
Description: Classes in repertory, technique, and music for intermediate and advanced students taught by festival faculty and Berklee College of Music faculty (the advanced class will perform in the festival’s mainstage show, On Tap, August 4 at Boston University Dance Theater); evening residencies with tap artists; “weekend sampler” (two days of master classes for advanced beginner to advanced students); and in-studio student showcase and faculty panel discussion on August 5. Features a four-day, all-day youth intensive program for ages 10 to 20.
Contact: Julia Boynton, 617-616-5124; jb@juliaontap.com; beantowntapfest.com

Motor City Tap Fest
Location: Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Dates: August 9–12
Fees/cost: $35–$375; scholarships available
Registration deadline: June 2 early bird; walk-ins accepted based on available space
Faculty includes: Gregg Russell and Tap Sounds Underground, Bril Barrett, Starinah “Star” Dixon, Nico Rubio, Shelby Kaufman, Jenefer Miller, and Suzy Guarino
Description: Master classes and performance opportunities for all levels; MCTF Future Tap Stars program includes classes plus choreography for ages 12 and younger; Motor City Soles faculty concert; repertory class with performance for intermediate and advanced students; auditions for Elite Crew and Pre-Pro Crew.
Contact: 917-687-4811;info@motorcitytapfest.com; motorcitytapfest.com

Las Vegas Tap Festival
Location: University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Craig Ranch Park, North Vegas, NV
Dates: May 5–7
Fees/cost: Classes $25–$35; packages $70–$240; Rhxthm Project $15
Registration deadline: May 5
Faculty includes: Jason Samuels Smith, Bril Barrett, Victoria Jones, Ivery Wheeler, Cathie Nicholas, Blaine Senior, Susan Abbott, Kelsey Leonard, Wendi Isaacson, Ken Bell, and Tony Coppola
Description: Classes feature tap technique along with special subjects such as the BS Chorus, tap cardio, hip-hop hoofin’, roots of tap, and more. New this year is the Rhxthm Project, a five-hour outdoor event with performances by dance and musical groups.
Contact: 702-418-8917; lasvegastapfestival@gmail.com; lvtapfest.com

Jersey Tap Fest founder Hillary-Marie Michael leads a master class.
Photo by Robert Nauta

Jersey Tap Fest
Location: Bloomfield, NJ
Dates: August 10–13
Fees/cost: $30–$400
Registration deadline: Open until filled
Faculty includes: Anthony Morigerato, Ayodele Casel, Ray Hesselink, Hillary-Marie Michael, and Karen Callaway Williams
Description: More than 30 master classes for intermediate and advanced dancers ages 10 and older; Tiny Taps program for beginners ages 8 and older; adults-only track for dancers ages 25 and older; performance residency; performance opportunities; jam sessions.
Contact: 973-932-0561; jerseytapfest@gmail.com; jerseytapfest.com

During the 2016 Big Apple Tap Festival gala, Brenda Bufalino (center) is honored for her contribution “to the art and tradition of tap dance.”
Photo courtesy The Big Apple Tap Festival

The Big Apple Tap Festival
Location: Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY
Dates: November 10–12
Fees/cost: Varies
Registration deadline: October 23 for group rates; open until filled
Faculty includes: Bob Audy, Ofer Ben, Denise Caston, Debbi Dee, Ray Hesselink, Avi Miller, Germaine Salsberg, and Dianne Walker
Description: Classes in multiple tap styles and disciplines, video presentation, tap history talks, participant showcase (no audition necessary for groups participating in showcase).
Contact: 646-383-4949; tap@jazztapcenter.com; thebigappletapfestival.com

North Carolina Rhythm Tap Festival
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Dates: June 9–11
Fees/cost: $35 per class (discounted rate for more than five classes); $10 festival fee
Registration deadline: Online registration open until festival ends
Faculty includes: TBA; past faculty has included Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, Sarah Reich, Jason Janas, Charles Renato, and Elizabeth Burke
Description: Twelve classes offered in 90-minute sessions; three levels of instruction available (beginner, intermediate, and advanced); faculty show.
Contact: 919-923-3092; ncrtf@ncyte.org; ncyte.org/ncrtf/

Portland Tap Dance Festival
Location: Portland, OR
Dates: May 26–28
Fees/cost: $35 per class; packages available
Registration deadline: Online registration open March 15 to May 20; walk-ins accepted
Faculty includes: Ted Louis Levy, Brenda Bufalino, Terry Brock, Jessie Sawyers, Danny Nielsen, Charles Renato, and Karida Griffith
Description: Master classes, residencies, meet and greet, tap jam, student showcase, faculty/festival showcase.
Contact: portlandtapalliance@gmail.com; portlandtapalliance.wordpress.com

Tap Ties Celebrates National Tap Dance Day
Location: Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA
Dates: May 20–21
Fees/cost: Varies; discount packages available
Registration deadline: May 1
Faculty includes: Germaine Salsberg, Robert F. Burden Jr., Rochelle Haynes, and Corinne Karon
Description: Master classes for advanced beginner to advanced dancers ages 12 and older; one-day youth program for ages 8 to 12 focuses on skills and drills, plus choreography; two performance showcases feature participants and faculty.
Contact: 610-217-5112; tapties@gmail.com; tapties.com

Tap Ties Dance and Fitness Festival
Location: Cedar Crest College, Allentown, PA
Dates: August 13–17
Fees/cost: Varies; discount packages available
Registration deadline: TBA; online registration will be available
Faculty includes: TBA
Description: Master classes in tap for advanced beginner to advanced students ages 12 and up, two-day teacher workshop, fitness classes, a musical theater program, tap talks, films, informational seminars; three-day youth program for ages 8 to 12 focuses on skills and drills, plus choreography.
Contact: 610-217-5112; tapties@gmail.com; tapties.com

Third Coast Rhythm Project Summer Tap Festival faculty includes Lisa La Touche. Photo by Kristie Kahns

Third Coast Rhythm Project Summer Tap Festival
Location: San Antonio, TX
Dates: July 27–30
Fees/cost: $28 single class; packages $250–$500
Registration deadline: June 2 early bird; open until filled
Faculty includes: Lisa La Touche, Karissa Royster, Nicole Hockenberry, Jay Fagan, and Lane Alexander
Description: Twentieth-anniversary festival includes 60 workshop classes for all ages and levels, youth program with an emphasis on rhythm exploration, jam sessions, archival film showings, participant showcase, and gala concert.
Contact: 210-348-8005; info@thirdcoastrhythm.com; thirdcoastrhythm.com

International Festivals

The Australian Tap Dance Festival’s five-day choreography residencies, classes, and multiple performance opportunities attract tappers from around the globe.
Photo by Judy Wagg

Australian Tap Dance Festival
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Dates: September 30–October 7
Fees/cost: Free–$320
Registration deadline: May 30 early bird; open until filled
Faculty includes: TBA
Description: Tap master classes, five-day choreography residencies, special events, tap jam with live musicians, showcases, participant and faculty performances.
Contact: +61 403 138 275; info@australiantapdancefestival.com.au; australiantapdancefestival.com.au

Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Dates: August 25–27
Fees/cost: TBA
Registration deadline: Open until filled
Faculty includes: TBA
Description: Master classes, youth program, tap jam, presentations, and intensive residencies.
Contact: 604-253-0293; tapinfo@vantapdance.com; vantapdance.com

Stockholm Tap Festival
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Dates: April 12–18
Fees/cost: Packages (2800 SEK) include 14 classes and all evening events (except the faculty gala); individual master classes 250 SEK; student/youth discounts and scholarships available; free housing
Registration deadline: Open until filled
Faculty includes: Michelle Dorrance, Brenda Bufalino, Sam Weber, Kazunori Kumagai, Nicholas Young, Andrew J. Nemr, Jason Janas, Jumaane Taylor, Josh Hilberman, Lisa La Touche, and 20 Swedish/European dancers and musicians
Description: Participants at last year’s festival hailed from 38 different countries. Includes classes for all levels from beginner to professional, live music jams, All Style Battle, tap cutting contest, student performances, and faculty performance gala.
Contact: Jonas Nermyr, +46 704 385 871; jonas@nermyr.se; stockholmtapfestival.blogspot.com